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Giants look to kick road woes

Giants look to kick road woes

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SAN FRANCISCO -- One by one, the Giants arrived in their AT&T Park clubhouse Wednesday morning, dressed in their traveling best. Huh?

Yes, the Giants' season continues with a road series beginning Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With a scheduled day off Thursday, they'd typically leave for Phoenix on that date. Not this time.

The Giants were eager to try anything to change their luck on the road, including changing their traveling pattern. So they were willing to sacrifice a night off at home to settle in early at their upcoming place of business.

The Giants felt compelled to alter their routine for good reason. Last year, they lost four of six road series openers after traveling on off-days following a home game. This season, they've struggled on the road overall, compiling an 0-6 record by enduring three-game sweeps at San Diego and Los Angeles.

This marked the club's longest road losing streak to begin the season since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958. Not since 1947 had the Giants started a season this poorly away from home.

The Giants didn't just slump during their first trip. They collapsed. They were outscored 42-14 and hit .208 while opponents batted .323. The starting rotation, considered the club's primary strength, went 0-5 with a 8.79 ERA.

San Francisco didn't change just its itinerary. Manager Bruce Bochy also juggled the rotation, seizing upon this week's pair of days off to move ace Tim Lincecum ahead a day. Lincecum will pitch Friday night's series opener instead of Saturday, as originally scheduled.

Randy Johnson, also moved up a day in the rotation, will make what promises to be a stirring return to Chase Field on Saturday.

"It'll be special," admitted Johnson, who's pursuing his 297th career victory. He finished 118-62 in eight seasons with Arizona, won four of his five Cy Young Awards (1999-2002) as a D-back and played on a World Series-winning club in 2001.

Pitching matchup
SF: RHP Tim Lincecum (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
After entering last Saturday's start with a 7.56 ERA in his first two outings, Lincecum blanked Arizona for eight innings, walking none and matching a career high with 13 strikeouts. He received no decision in a 2-0 Giants loss. Lincecum regained his Cy Young Award-winning form partly because he detected a flaw in his delivery. His front (left) foot was landing three inches closer than usual to the right-handed batter's box, diminishing his velocity and throwing his pitches askew.

ARI: LHP Doug Davis (1-2, 2.57 ERA)
Davis followed up one of his best starts in a D-backs uniform with an even better one against the Giants on Saturday at AT&T Park. The left-hander tossed eight shutout innings, outdueling Lincecum for a 2-0 win. The game was scoreless until the ninth, when Chris Young laced a two-run double to left. Davis threw more curveballs in the game than he usually does, and he cut back on the amount of times he went to his cut fastball, though the lefty still threw between 20 and 25 cutters. Over his past two starts, Davis has allowed two runs in 16 innings.

Tidbits
Bob Howry has blanked opponents in six of his seven appearances, including the last four in a row. ... Justin Miller has faced San Diego in each of his four appearances. ... Andres Torres' assignment in center field Wednesday left Nate Schierholtz as the only Giants position player not to start a game. Schierholtz also has yet to play an inning in the field. "As we get [deeper] in [the schedule], I'm going to try to find a way to get Nate a start," manager Bruce Bochy said. ... Entering Wednesday, Travis Ishikawa was tied for first in RBIs among National League rookies with seven. ... Due to the San Jose Sharks' playoff game against Anaheim, Saturday's Giants telecast will move to CSN-Plus.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NBC-11

On radio
• KNBR 680, KIQI (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Giants (Randy Johnson, 1-2, 6.32) at Diamondbacks (Max Scherzer, 0-1, 3.60), 5:10 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Giants (Matt Cain, 2-0, 2.37) at Diamondbacks (Jon Garland, 2-1, 5.71), 1:10 p.m. PT
• Monday: Giants (TBD) vs. Dodgers (TBD), 7:15 p.m. PT

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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